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Embedded thumbnail for How Breville Innovates 4x Faster with Altium
Discovering Altium 365
How Breville Innovates 4x Faster with Altium

Learn how Breville, a consumer electronics company from Australia, was able to speed up its product development process by at least four times with Altium 365. 

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Creating Guide Lines and Snap Points
How to use Snapping
Creating Guide Lines and Snap Points

Explanation of guides and snap points and how to create and use them.

NEW
Hybrid PCB
Blog
How to Design a Hybrid PCB Stackup

The first question that should come up when selecting materials and planning a stackup is: what materials are needed and how many layers should be used? Assuming you’ve determined you need a low-loss laminate and you’ve determined your required layer count, it’s time to consider whether you should use a hybrid stackup. There are a few broad situations where you could consider using a hybrid stackup with low-loss laminates in your PCB

Embedded thumbnail for How to edit or manage your board shape in Altium Designer | Rigid-flex
How to Work with Rigid-Flex PCBs
How to edit or manage your board shape in Altium Designer | Rigid-flex

Altium Designer 21 features many powerful tools for creating and editing your rigid-flex board shape. We’ll show you how to use to the board planning mode to create board shape and define regions as well as edit their properties for easy identification and functionality.

Battery and clock
Blog
Efficient Battery Power Supplies

Batteries offer a great power source for electrical devices that need to be mobile or located somewhere where connection to a mains electricity supply or other power source is impossible. The biggest problem with battery power is the expectation of users that the device will operate for significant periods with the need for recharging or replacing the batteries. This demand is placing the onus on the designer to improve efficiency and reduce power demand to meet this need.

Embedded thumbnail for How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer

How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer: The properties panel is your information hub for all objects in Altium Designer. Watch this video to learn how to best use the properties dialog in Altium Designer. 

Blog
What Target Impedance Should You Use in Your PDN?

A number of us on this blog and in other publications often bring up the concept of target impedance when discussing power integrity in high-speed designs. Some designs will be simple enough that you can take a “set it and forget it” approach to design a functional prototype. For more advanced designs, or if you’re fine-tuning a new board that has existing power integrity problems, target impedance is a real consideration that should be considered in your design.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Improve Routing Using Glossing
How-To's
How to Improve Routing Using Glossing

Routes for your design can get messy, leading to inefficiency and waste. Altium Designer’s Glossing features can help! We’ll show you how to clean up your interactive routing as you route, how to gloss tracks already routed, and some tips and tricks to clean them up exactly how you want them.

Dual Power Supply Components Cover
Blog
An Overview of Dual Power Supply Design

Dual power supplies are circuits that generate two different output voltages from a single input source. The simplest method of generating dual output voltages is to use a transformer with two taps on the output winding. Bespoke transformers can have any voltage ratio depending on the number of windings in each part of the output side of the transformer.

Embedded thumbnail for Tenting Vias in Altium Designer
How-To's
Tenting Vias in Altium Designer

This video shows how to tent vias in Altium Designer by using design rules. Since vias are often located very close to pads, during assembly, solder paste sometimes flows into vias, which, in turn, leads to poor soldering quality. To avoid this, cover vias with a solder mask layer.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Create and Validate Return Paths in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to Create and Validate Return Paths in Altium Designer

For high-speed projects where there are lines with a given impedance, it is important to maintain a consistent return signal path. For the return signal, reference planes are created in the form of polygons and the polygons must maintain integrity along the entire path of the signal. This video shows how consistent return paths are created and validated. 

Power planes inside PCB
Blog
Overlapping Planes in Your Mixed-Signal PCB Layout

With digital boards that are nominally running at DC, splitting up a power plane or using multiple power planes is a necessity for routing large currents at standard core/logic levels to digital components. Once you start mixing analog and digital sections into your power layers with multiple nets, it can be difficult to implement clean power in a design if you’re not careful with your layout.

SolidWorks interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD MCAD Capabilities For Today’s Most Demanding Designs

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so have the way they store and manage their design and project data. To successfully design these products, the designers must fluidly pass design changes back and forth between the ECAD and MCAD domains beyond outdated file exchanges.

Altium Designer interface
Blog
Follow Mixed Signal PCB Design Guidelines With the Best CAD Tools

High-speed digital PCBs are challenging enough to design, but what about mixed-signal boards? Many modern systems contain elements that operate with both digital and analog signaling, and these systems must be designed to ensure signal integrity in both domains. Altium Designer has the layout and signal integrity tools you need to ensure your mixed-signal PCB design does not experience interference and obeys important design standards. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Edit Component Directly on PCB
How-To's
How to Edit Component Directly on PCB

Once you’ve pulled your components with an ECO into the PCB you may need to edit them. We’ll show you how to edit your components in the PCB view.

Blog
Get Ready for WiFi 7 under the 802.11be Standard

Just as WiFi 6 and 6E are starting to hit the market and new chipsets become available, WiFi 7 is in the works under the 802.11be standard.  While this technology still has not hit the market, I would expect more inquiries for experimental systems, evaluation modules, and surface-mountable modules to come up once the first chipsets become available. Now is the time to start thinking about these systems, especially if you’re developing evaluation products to support WiFi 7.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Control Tuning in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to Control Tuning in Altium Designer

When dealing with high frequency boards, it is necessary to match the timing of certain nets and differential pairs. In this video, we’ll go over how to use the tuning tool to match trace lengths based on the design rules. Using the Interactive Length Tuning command, you will begin tuning and can then use the Properties panel to configure the properites of the tuning segment.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Use Text Justification
How-To's
How to Use Text Justification

This video demonstrates how to use the justification function to align text on the PCB.

Protected electronic device
Blog
What Goes Into Rugged Electronics Design?

Rugged electronics need to take a punch mechanically, but there is more that goes into a rugged system than being able to survive a drop on the pavement. This is as much about enclosure design as it is about component selection and manufacturing choices. Mil-aero designers often use the term “harsh environment” to describe a number of scenarios where an electronic device’s reliability and lifetime will be put to the test. If you want to make your next product truly rugged, it helps to adopt some of their strategies in your PCB layout.

Tag
NEW
Hybrid PCB
Blog
How to Design a Hybrid PCB Stackup

The first question that should come up when selecting materials and planning a stackup is: what materials are needed and how many layers should be used? Assuming you’ve determined you need a low-loss laminate and you’ve determined your required layer count, it’s time to consider whether you should use a hybrid stackup. There are a few broad situations where you could consider using a hybrid stackup with low-loss laminates in your PCB

Battery and clock
Blog
Efficient Battery Power Supplies

Batteries offer a great power source for electrical devices that need to be mobile or located somewhere where connection to a mains electricity supply or other power source is impossible. The biggest problem with battery power is the expectation of users that the device will operate for significant periods with the need for recharging or replacing the batteries. This demand is placing the onus on the designer to improve efficiency and reduce power demand to meet this need.

Blog
What Target Impedance Should You Use in Your PDN?

A number of us on this blog and in other publications often bring up the concept of target impedance when discussing power integrity in high-speed designs. Some designs will be simple enough that you can take a “set it and forget it” approach to design a functional prototype. For more advanced designs, or if you’re fine-tuning a new board that has existing power integrity problems, target impedance is a real consideration that should be considered in your design.

Dual Power Supply Components Cover
Blog
An Overview of Dual Power Supply Design

Dual power supplies are circuits that generate two different output voltages from a single input source. The simplest method of generating dual output voltages is to use a transformer with two taps on the output winding. Bespoke transformers can have any voltage ratio depending on the number of windings in each part of the output side of the transformer.

Power planes inside PCB
Blog
Overlapping Planes in Your Mixed-Signal PCB Layout

With digital boards that are nominally running at DC, splitting up a power plane or using multiple power planes is a necessity for routing large currents at standard core/logic levels to digital components. Once you start mixing analog and digital sections into your power layers with multiple nets, it can be difficult to implement clean power in a design if you’re not careful with your layout.

Altium Designer interface
Blog
Follow Mixed Signal PCB Design Guidelines With the Best CAD Tools

High-speed digital PCBs are challenging enough to design, but what about mixed-signal boards? Many modern systems contain elements that operate with both digital and analog signaling, and these systems must be designed to ensure signal integrity in both domains. Altium Designer has the layout and signal integrity tools you need to ensure your mixed-signal PCB design does not experience interference and obeys important design standards. 

Blog
Get Ready for WiFi 7 under the 802.11be Standard

Just as WiFi 6 and 6E are starting to hit the market and new chipsets become available, WiFi 7 is in the works under the 802.11be standard.  While this technology still has not hit the market, I would expect more inquiries for experimental systems, evaluation modules, and surface-mountable modules to come up once the first chipsets become available. Now is the time to start thinking about these systems, especially if you’re developing evaluation products to support WiFi 7.

Protected electronic device
Blog
What Goes Into Rugged Electronics Design?

Rugged electronics need to take a punch mechanically, but there is more that goes into a rugged system than being able to survive a drop on the pavement. This is as much about enclosure design as it is about component selection and manufacturing choices. Mil-aero designers often use the term “harsh environment” to describe a number of scenarios where an electronic device’s reliability and lifetime will be put to the test. If you want to make your next product truly rugged, it helps to adopt some of their strategies in your PCB layout.

PCB Testing
Blog
PCB Testing 101: Important Methods and Metrics

There are many quality checks used to ensure a design will be manufacturable at scale and with high quality, but a lot of this can happen in the background without the designer realizing. No matter what level of testing and inspection you need to perform, it’s important to determine the basic test requirements your design must satisfy and communicate these to your manufacturer. If it’s your first time transitioning from prototyping to high-volume production, read our list of PCB testing requirements so that you’ll know what to expect.

DDR Memory Chip
Blog
Using SDRAM vs. DDR RAM in Your PCB Design

Embedded computers, vision devices, DAQ modules, and much more will all need some memory, whether it’s a Flash chip or a RAM module. Normally, something like a Flash memory chip or a small eMMC module would not be used for temporary storage as the device requires constant rewrites. Instead, if you happen to need a volatile memory solution, you would go for static (SRAM) or dynamic RAM (DRAM). If you need to decide which type of memory to use in your board, keep reading to see some of the basic design guidelines for SDRAM vs. DDR memory modules.

PCB with big ground planes
Blog
PCB Ground Plane Best Practices in Your Multilayer Stackup

Using a PCB ground plane in a stackup is the first step towards ensuring power and signal integrity, as well as keeping EMI low. However, there are some bad myths about ground planes that seem to persist, and I’ve seen highly experienced designers make some simple mistakes when defining grounds in their PCB layouts. If you’re interested in preventing excess emissions and ensuring signal integrity in your layout, follow these simple guidelines for implementing a PCB ground plane in your next board.

PCB Voltage Regulator Chip
Blog
Using an LDO vs. Switching Regulator in Your PCB

As much as we’d like, the power we supply to electronics isn’t always stable. Real power sources contain noise, they might exhibit power instability, or they dropout unexpectedly. Thankfully, we have power regulators to help prevent some of these problems. For low power devices, we generally see two types of power regulators: a low dropout regulator (LDO) or a switching regulator. You can mix and match these at different points along your power bus, but there’s still the matter of choosing whether to use an LDO vs. a switching regulator in your designs. 

Cloud storage on the phone
Blog
Using Altium 365 for Sharing Simulations in the Cloud

Post-layout simulators for your PCB are very valuable tools. If you’re working through a complex design, it’s a good idea to put it through some level of simulation and analysis to evaluate the design before manufacturing. This is all easy with the cloud collaboration tools in Altium 365 and Ansys field solvers thanks to the EDB Exporter utility in Altium Designer. These existing tools in Altium Designer and any of the Ansys field solver utilities give you a simplified way to share design data, EDB files, and simulation results with anyone on your design team. 

Manufacturers
Blog
How to Speed Up Your DFM Report Process in the Cloud

Experienced fabricators will tell you: any design could have some hidden DFM problem that will interfere with manufacturability, quality, or yield. Making use of your design rules is just the start of preventing DFM problems, you’ll want to collaborate with your manufacturer throughout the design process if you want to spot and correct DFM problems. Within Altium Designer, there are multiple reports you can generate for your projects that will help you summarize important information on your board for a client or a manufacturer.

Optoelectronics
Blog
The Digital Engineer's Guide to RF PCB Layout and Routing

With modern systems running at higher frequencies, incorporating multiple wireless protocols, and interfacing with many analog sensors, advanced designs require knowledge from digital and RF design disciplines. If you’re now starting to work in the RF realm and you need to design an all-analog or mixed-signal system, RF PCB layout will need to become a new specialty. If you’re a digital designer and you’re now jumping into high-frequency analog design, keep reading to learn more about RF PCB layout and routing.

Tag
Embedded thumbnail for How Breville Innovates 4x Faster with Altium
Discovering Altium 365
How Breville Innovates 4x Faster with Altium

Learn how Breville, a consumer electronics company from Australia, was able to speed up its product development process by at least four times with Altium 365. 

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Creating Guide Lines and Snap Points
How to use Snapping
Creating Guide Lines and Snap Points

Explanation of guides and snap points and how to create and use them.

Embedded thumbnail for How to edit or manage your board shape in Altium Designer | Rigid-flex
How to Work with Rigid-Flex PCBs
How to edit or manage your board shape in Altium Designer | Rigid-flex

Altium Designer 21 features many powerful tools for creating and editing your rigid-flex board shape. We’ll show you how to use to the board planning mode to create board shape and define regions as well as edit their properties for easy identification and functionality.

Embedded thumbnail for How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer

How to use the Property Panel in Altium Designer: The properties panel is your information hub for all objects in Altium Designer. Watch this video to learn how to best use the properties dialog in Altium Designer. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Improve Routing Using Glossing
How-To's
How to Improve Routing Using Glossing

Routes for your design can get messy, leading to inefficiency and waste. Altium Designer’s Glossing features can help! We’ll show you how to clean up your interactive routing as you route, how to gloss tracks already routed, and some tips and tricks to clean them up exactly how you want them.

Embedded thumbnail for Tenting Vias in Altium Designer
How-To's
Tenting Vias in Altium Designer

This video shows how to tent vias in Altium Designer by using design rules. Since vias are often located very close to pads, during assembly, solder paste sometimes flows into vias, which, in turn, leads to poor soldering quality. To avoid this, cover vias with a solder mask layer.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Create and Validate Return Paths in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to Create and Validate Return Paths in Altium Designer

For high-speed projects where there are lines with a given impedance, it is important to maintain a consistent return signal path. For the return signal, reference planes are created in the form of polygons and the polygons must maintain integrity along the entire path of the signal. This video shows how consistent return paths are created and validated. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Edit Component Directly on PCB
How-To's
How to Edit Component Directly on PCB

Once you’ve pulled your components with an ECO into the PCB you may need to edit them. We’ll show you how to edit your components in the PCB view.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Control Tuning in Altium Designer
How-To's
How to Control Tuning in Altium Designer

When dealing with high frequency boards, it is necessary to match the timing of certain nets and differential pairs. In this video, we’ll go over how to use the tuning tool to match trace lengths based on the design rules. Using the Interactive Length Tuning command, you will begin tuning and can then use the Properties panel to configure the properites of the tuning segment.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Use Text Justification
How-To's
How to Use Text Justification

This video demonstrates how to use the justification function to align text on the PCB.

Embedded thumbnail for Effective use of "Objects for snapping" when creating a Footprint
How to use Snapping
Effective use of "Objects for snapping" when creating a Footprint

Learn how to effectively use snaps that allow you to create a component footprint quickly and conveniently

Embedded thumbnail for Component Placement Control for DFM
DFM and Fabrication Cost/Time Constraints
Component Placement Control for DFM

Component placement is a crucial part of making sure your design is manufacturable, so you need to be able to control placement. We’ll show you how, through rules and courtyard layers to maintain accessibility and manufacturability in your entire design through component placement control.

Embedded thumbnail for Calculating Impedance in Altium Designer
Impedance calculation
Calculating Impedance in Altium Designer

This video covers how to calculate impedance in Altium Designer. This is especially important when dealing with high-speed designs. You want to make sure impedance is matched to avoid any reflections and maintain good signal integrity.

Embedded thumbnail for Stackup Considerations
DFM and Fabrication Cost/Time Constraints
Stackup Considerations

There is a lot to consider about the Layer Stackup when it comes to designing a manufacturable board. We’ll walk you through enabling symmetry, finding correct balance of your layers, materials, creating and loading templates, and adding a layer stack table for better communication between you and your manufacturer.

Embedded thumbnail for How to control net propagation delay
How-To's
How to control net propagation delay

When dealing with high-frequency boards it's necessary to match the timing of certain nets and differential pairs. In this video, we’ll go over how to use the tuning tool to match trace lengths based on design rules. 

Embedded thumbnail for Creating and using templates
How to Work with Draftsman
Creating and using templates

Draftsman Templates are a quick way of laying out your Draftsman Document in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to utilize them and the differences between sheet and document templates.

Tag
SolidWorks interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD MCAD Capabilities For Today’s Most Demanding Designs

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so have the way they store and manage their design and project data. To successfully design these products, the designers must fluidly pass design changes back and forth between the ECAD and MCAD domains beyond outdated file exchanges.

Altium Designer Constraints Editor
On-Demand Webinar
Getting Started with Design Rules and Constraints

Getting started with design rules can sometimes be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Altium Designer has added a new design rules user interface along with a new way to define rules, while not compromising past methods. Now, rules and constraints have a design-centric view rather than a rules-centric view which allows for easier visualization and is less prone to error. Watch this video to learn how you can best utilize the improved Rules 2.0 design rule interface.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD-MCAD Collaboration for Improved Product Development

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so has the way they store and manage their design and project data. Watch this video to learn about seamless ECAD/MCAD Collaboration on the project, how to comments for other design teams and how to review, Approve or Reject design changes from your mechanical engineer.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
One-Stop Design Team Configuration

A heavy focus is usually put on managing your design data, but what about managing your design team? A mismanaged design team can lead to a disorganized and inaccurate design library and data. Watch this webinar to see how Altium 365 can help you to organize users into access restricted groups, manage design and designer access rights, avoid design conflicts when multiple members are working on the same design, and standardize your entire project using templates

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
8 Reasons to Store Your Components in Altium 365

Working with local libraries seems like a simple solution, but we often don’t take into account the added time spent maintaining libraries and sharing them between team members. There is no good way to avoid duplicate efforts with component creation and no standardization to ensure consistent naming. Worst of all, there is no way to identify the latest component revision, and library files can be easily corrupted or misplaced. This webinar showcases the advantages of component storage in Аltium 365 to resolve the issues of local libraries and component management.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
Group Editing Tools and Methods in Altium Designer Webinar

Do you ever have to edit a large group of objects on your design? Whether you are dealing with your schematic or PCB, this webinar will help you get acquainted with the main tools for group editing of objects in Altium Designer. You will also learn how to effectively apply group editing methods with filters and selection tools in different design scopes.

Share Designs and track changes easily
On-Demand Webinar
Using Version Control in Your PCB Project Webinar

Version control has been a staple of software development for decades, but hardware development can benefit just as much from a version control system (VCS). Traditionally, VCS has been managed locally tying you down to a workplace, but advances in cloud technology have removed that limitation. Learn how Altium 365 cloud technology enables working concurrently on designs with built-in version control and evaluate its advantages.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
CoDesigner and MCAD Component Placement On-Demand Webinar

We design products not just PCBs requiring effective collaboration between MCAD and ECAD engineers. We need to consider how we can reduce the likelihood of errors when placing critical design components. Component placement in the context of enclosures can be easily handled in an MCAD environment while it is more difficult to achieve in the ECAD domain. Learn how to place components from the MCAD side and synchronize them with Altium Designer ECAD models, designators, and sourcing data to simplify your design process.

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

On-Demand Webinar
Tips & Tricks: Board Shape Creation

Being able to design a board in your ECAD environment doesn’t mean that it is manufacturable in real life. You have to make sure your CAD representation won’t have any problems in the real world by taking some precautions. For example, there are certain areas that need to be free of components and have specified clearances like your board edge. This webinar will help you get acquainted with the creation and modification of your board shape so that you can ensure manufacturability.

Complex Design Made Easy Preview
On-Demand Webinar
Altium Designer® 21: A Better Way To Design

The design process often requires repetitive work with tedious tasks. Altium Designer 21 represents a better way to design by revitalizing long-standing functionality and improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability, based on the feedback from our users. These improvements streamline existing design tasks and empower you to complete sophisticated rigid and rigid-flex designs with realistic 3D modeling.

Printed tracks on PCB in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
Printed Circuit Design in Altium Designer

Printed Electronics is emerging to become as common as 3D printing. With this fast-emerging technology, new possibilities have come into the manufacturing arena, allowing engineers and designers to develop products in markets never before realized. With the emergence of many contract manufacturers possessing this capability, the cost is competitive. Quick-turn prototypes and volume production are now all possibilities, and with Altium 365® you stay connected directly with your manufacturer throughout the design process.

Webinar preview
On-Demand Webinar
Using Output Job Files for Rapid, Repeatable PCB Manufacturing Data Generation

An OutJob is simply a pre-configured set of outputs. Each output is configured with its own settings and its own output format, for example, output to a file or to a printer. OutJobs are very flexible – they can include as many or as few outputs as required and any number of OutJobs can be included in a project. The best approach is to use one OutJob to configure all outputs required for each specific type of output being generated from the project. 

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Best Practices: Efficient Use of Snapping in Altium Designer

Getting your PCB layout design done takes patience and precision. Complex footprint geometries, board shape, and dense component placement require accurate primitive positioning. Each stage of PCB design needs a different snapping configuration. Often your settings can be excellent for one stage and be unfavorable for another. Learn more about different snapping usage patterns and best practices of efficient snappings.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
PCB Design in Altium Designer with Differential Data Transfer

Differential data transmission lines usage can be challenging for even experienced designers. First you need to be familiar with the concepts of differential data transmission, find out why it is used, and what the potential advantage for your signal. This webinar will help you determine what part of your designs need differential pairs implementations and how to create such pairs with a given wave impedance in Altium Designer.

On-Demand Webinar
Communicating Design Intent with Manufacturing Outputs

No one wants to do a board respin because of inaccurate or incomplete manufacturing outputs confusing design intent. This webinar covers the information needed for PCB Manufacturing and Assembly, as well as, a simple way to communicate and collaborate with manufacturing.